On the morning of April 6, Devin Nunes stepped down from his role as the House Intelligence Committee Chair, and it appeared that a path had been cleared toward proceeding with the stalled House Committee investigation into whether the Trump team colluded with the Russians in tampering with the 2016 presidential election. However, that afternoon, the very same day, mention of this fact had vanished from mainstream media coverage. Instead, the media began a 24/7 cycling and recycling vigil about Trump’s missile strikes on the air base from which dictator Bashar al-Assad had two days before launched a deadly chemical weapons attack on his own people. The timing of Trump’s missile strikes could not have provided a better distraction device to the investigation even if it had been strategically planned. Or was it, in fact, planned?
Here are some facts that have been circulating in the mainstream:
- On April 5, the day after Assad’s chemical attack that killed dozens of Syrians, including a number of children, Trump called the attack “an affront to humanity” and said he “changed his mind” about the dictator.
- On April 6, Trump ordered targeted cruise missile strikes on the Syrian air base from which the planes that launched the chemical attack originated.
- On April 8, Russia said that the U.S. cruise missile strikes on the Syrian air base could have “extremely serious” consequences.
Riveting on these facts, mainstream media outlets declared that the “bromance” between Trump and Putin is over, and coverage came to an abrupt halt regarding the investigations into Trump’s possible collusion with the Russians. After all, if Trump were truly in the pocket of Putin, then why would he deliberately pursue an action that put him at odds with his puppet master? So, it was almost incomprehensible how the stories could exist side by side in the same news hole.
...Coverage came to an abrupt halt regarding the investigations into Trump’s possible collusion with the Russians.
Unfortunately, the sigh of relief that the Kremlin is not, after all, at the helm of the White House is naïve and unscientific. This is because probability is relative to the evidence considered, and there is presently a wider body of facts the consideration of which would admonish us not to jump to conclusions based on a sliver of the available evidence.
Here are some more facts that paint a different picture:
- Russia has provided financial as well as military assistance to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
- This is true despite the fact that Assad has reportedly killed more than 250,000 of his own people, used chemical weapons in the past to kill hundreds, and forced more than 11 million others from their homes.
- Despite Assad’s mass killings in Syria, Trump has in the past still consistently refused to consider regime change, and has supported Russia’s stance toward Assad.
- · While Trump has now condemned Assad’s chemical attacks, he has never condemned Putin for backing this ruthless dictator. Quite the opposite, Trump has strongly praised both Putin and Assad, giving the latter an “A” in leadership.
- AP has reported that Russia actually knew that the Syrian attack was coming, and even attempted to cover up any evidence that it, in fact, occurred. Yet the Trump White House has pushed back on the AP report, and has refused to hold Putin responsible, even for his failure to dispose of Assad’s chemical weapons.
- Trump attempted twice to block the route of Syrian refugees (including children) into the U.S. through his travel ban, thereby leaving them in harm’s way. This is hardly what we would expect from a man who truly cares about the fate of innocent victims of a brutal dictator.
- Russia’s position in Syria has not been altered by anything the Trump administration has done so far. The Syrian air base that was struck is reported to have reopened in less than 24 hours; and there were no reported Russian casualties.
- In fact, before launching his missile attack, the Trump administration notified Russia so that it could avoid any collateral damage to Russian and Syrian personnel.
- The Trump administration does not have a policy toward Assad and different members of his cabinet are saying contradictory things.
- The White House has also walked back a statement made by Sean Spicer that Trump would take more action against Syria for further barrel bombings of civilians. Inasmuch as such bombs are routinely used by Assad, turning a blind eye on them is consistent with permitting the mass murders to continue. These bombs contain shrapnel and cause inhumane suffering and death. If Trump were truly moved by children suffocating, then why not by the knowledge that children are being disfigured and blown apart by such explosive devices?
- According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian warplanes dropped barrel bombs on rebel-held areas of Hama province on Tuesday, April 10, the morning of the same day that the White House later walked back its statement that it would respond militarily to the dropping of barrel bombs.
Unfortunately, the sigh of relief that the Kremlin is not, after all, at the helm of the White House is naïve and unscientific.
And we need only be reminded that:
- It has been confirmed by U.S. intelligence that the Russians have interfered in the 2016 presidential election for purposes of helping Trump to get elected.
- There is currently an FBI investigation into the Trump team’s possible collusion with the Russians in interfering with the 2016 election. This investigation includes the possibility of criminal charges being filed against members of the Trump team, which does not exclude Trump himself.
- The connections already confirmed between Trump team members and top Russian officials are hard to discount, especially when more confirmed connections are ever increasing.
So, what perspective you take really depends on what set of facts you want to focus on. Seeing Trump’s military response to Assad’s chemical attack as spelling the end of the “bromance” is thus too quick and too short-sighted. At this juncture, it appears more reasonable to suppose that Trump’s missile attack is a bogus cover-up than a genuine break with the Russians. There are just too many contradictions to suppose that Trump has suddenly changed his stripes.
Trump has proven himself to be a chronic liar with little reverence for truth, and his past record reveals that he has consistently shown little regard for justice and human rights; even praising dictators for their strong leadership, who have committed the most heinous “affronts to humanity,” including the likes of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Un.
Nor should it be assumed that Putin is really angry at Trump for his attack on the Syrian air base. Contrary to what we now know, Putin never even admitted that the Kremlin was behind the cyberattacks that interfered with the 2016 presidential elections. To the contrary, he said the U.S. was lying. And suddenly he or his spokespersons are to be taken at their word? Testimonial evidence can and should be relied upon only when it comes from a reliable source.
Consistency is, indeed, the earmark of truth, and there is now a consistent and mounting set of facts painting an unsettling story about Russian-Trump quid quo pro in interfering with the 2016 presidential election. The Intelligence community, therefore, has an unequivocal and solemn obligation to get to the bottom of the matter post haste; and the mainstream media needs to vigilantly, courageously, and without diversion, keep the public informed about new developments pertinent to the unfolding investigation.